The History of NARS
The National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS) program is an EPA and State/Tribal effort to survey the condition of the nation’s waters.
Initiated in 2005, these statistically-based surveys have begun to provide EPA, States, Tribes and others partners with information to provide nationally consistent reports on the condition of the nation’s waters, to identify national and regional water quality priorities and to evaluate the effectiveness of the nation’s investment in water quality protection and restoration. These assessments report on core indicators of aquatic life and public health using standardized field and laboratory methods and a national quality control program.
The NARS reports provide unbiased estimates of the condition of the broader population of a water resource type based on a representative sample of individual waters selected using a randomized approach. The first cycle of the surveys will establish a baseline and subsequent surveys will allow the Agency to track changes over time and assess the effectiveness of Agency water quality programs.